Avoid foreclosure scams at the movies

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: In addition to being bombarded with movie trailers and theater announcements before your next flick, you're likely to see some financial advice on the big screen. Here's Marketplace's Caitlan Carroll.


Caitlan Carroll: The popcorn's in hand, lights dim, ready for the movie to start, and:

Foreclosure ad: Having trouble keeping up with your mortgage payments? Are you facing foreclosure?

Sandwiched between ads to turn off your cell phone and buy more Milk Duds, the Federal Reserve has a message for homeowners: Don't be taken advantage of by foreclosure scams, and go to our Web site to find out more.

Branding expert Rob Frankel:

Rob Frankel: So the message may not be award-winning, but as long as the data's getting through, that's probably at this point what's more important. I think I'd rather be clear than clever.

Frankel says the Fed's getting a lot for the $9,000 it spent on the ad. The ad will play for a week to an undistracted audience in nine of the states hit worst by foreclosures.

Community rights advocate Jesse Van Tol points out one problem: the Fed's message is simple, but scammers tailor their talk to individuals.

Jess Van Tol: These foreclosure prevention scammers are really reaching people everywhere.

Everywhere except in a place they go to escape.

I'm Caitlan Carroll for Marketplace.

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